Injuries and youth throw a monkey wrench into season.
A promising season started off with 14-21 loss to IAA Texas State, outgaining the Bobcats, but missing three FGs. Worse than losing the game, the Rams lost starting QB Josh Neiswander for the season, forcing the Rams to play two freshmen at quarterback for the remainder of the season. The defense played well enough through the first six weeks to help ASU to a 3-3 record. At that point, the defense was first in the LSC in yardage and second in points allowed. But it was all downhill from that point, as Angelo State faced the top 4 offenses over the final five weeks of the season - getting outscored by a 182-45 margin, allowing 486 yds per contest, while the offense generated just 221.
Running back Daniel Thomas was once again, the bright spot for Angelo State. Thomas finished the season with 1,020 rushing yards, (eighth best in Ram history) and was named second team all-LSC South for the second consecutive year. For his career, he became just the fourth Ram to finish with more than 3,000 yards on the ground.
2008 LSC Statistical Rankings
#13 Scoring Offense (#8 in 2007)
#12 Passing Efficiency (#7)
#13 Passing Yards(#7)
#13 Red Zone offense (#11)
#7 Scoring Defense (#12 - 10 pts per game fewer than 2007)#8 Total Defense (#13 - 121 yds per game fewer than 2007)
#8 Rush Defense ( #12 - improved by 122 yds per game)
#2 Interceptions (#7)
In both scoring defense and total defense, ASU registered the second best improvement in the LSC (both behind only Abilene Christian). The rush defense registered the biggest improvement in the LSC.
Jason Watson - All-LSC South 1st team
Daniel Thomas - All-LSC South 2nd team
Cody Smith - All-LSC South honorable mention
Jordan Cortez - All-LSC South honorable mention
Edward Cantrell - All-LSC South honorable mention
Seniors moving on
Daniel Thomas - RB - 3 year starter, 4th on the ASU all-time list for rushing yards, 1,020 yds this year, 3,094 for his career (2nd team All-LSC South-2007, 2008)
Terrell Lee - RB - moved to RB this year, second on team in rushing with 365 yds
Sam Tindol - WR - 81 receptions for 1,097 yds in his career
Drew Peterson - WR - 87 receptions for 883 yds in his career
Jason Watson - TE - 24 receptions for 283 yds in his career (1st team All-LSC South 2008)
Joey Faken - OL - started 19 games at tackle in his two years
Jordan Cortez - LB - 184 career tackles (HM All-LSC South in 2008)
Quintin Butler - DB - 5 interceptions in his two years, including one returned for TD vs Tarleton State
Michael McLeod - DB - 156 career tackles, increased each year from 23 as freshman to 53 this year, 6 career interceptions.
Tarric Jones - DB - 122 career tackles, with 3 interceptions
Once again, the Rams do not lose many seniors, but Daniel Thomas will be hard to replace. The Rams expect 7 starters on both sides of the ball to return next season, and will have three experienced QBs to direct the offense.
LSC Scoop Preseason Predictions:
Best Case Scenario
6-5 Offensive line continues improvement, running game allows Neiswander to continue development without the pressure of carrying team. Young defense improves, keeping ASU in games.
Worst Case Scenario
2-9 Defense does not show noticeable improvement, QB play remains inconsistent, team starts slowly, causing a loss in confidence.
Actual Record 3-8 Could have been much better, but losing your only experienced QB in the opener doesn't help matters.